As lawyers who practice family law in Wisconsin, we see a lot of situations where one of the parents has started a new romantic relationship. I recently read an article and a judge in Wisconsin who has practiced for nearly 10 years, commented on this topic. I want to share the comments to provide some perspective to parties involved in child custody matters, physical placement disputes, divorces, and paternity actions.

This judge made 3 main points. The first, is that parents should be careful about introducing children to a new significant other. While the parent may be excited about the new relationship, the child may not be excited about it. The second point made from the judge is that a parent needs to understand that the child is going through a huge transition, where change and loss is hard. The child may suffer from all sorts of emotions. The child may even gravitate toward the new significant other and overly embrace that person. While all of this may not be a concern in the long run, it could be if the new relationship is not solid. This brings the judge to the third point, and that is, introducing a child to a person who may not be around in 6 months can cause more loss for the child.

As a divorce lawyer with many years of experience with child custody and placement disputes, I find that judges are not thrilled to have new significant others involved when the relationship with the parents has recently ended. This is the time when judges are most concerned about the child’s emotions in dealing with transition, loss, and new relationships.

The parent needs to look beyond the initial emotional high of a new significant other, and needs to take time to visualize the relationship down the road. It is only after the parent has spent substantial time in thought and practice with the new significant other, that the parent can determine whether to introduce the child to the new partner.

If you want to talk about your situation, we would love to speak with you.